DIY Dip-Dyed Ombre Mittens

16 Nov

Tomorrow, the fiance and I are taking our first plane ride together: a direct flight to New York City. We will be visiting my sister and her husband for Thanksgiving. Since Texas winters are mild, I feel like Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, and I will relate. She said “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore” and I will probably be thinking “Oh boy, we’re not in Texas anymore.”

For the wintry weather, I wanted cute mittens, not gloves. This seemed like a tall order on short notice. After unsuccessful searching for something cute, I decided to “make” my own. No, I did not knit a ball of yarn into mittens, and no, I did not cut up an old sweater and sew. I store-bought some plain, chunky mittens and dip-dyed them. It was so easy I felt as if I had cheated Etsy or something.

DIY Dip-Dyed Mittens

To make your own you need:

  • Light colored cotton mittens
  • A bottle/box of Rit dye in the color of your choice
  • Clothespins
  • A dowel
  • A large pot (or sink)
  • Hot water

First, use clothespins (or binder clips, or string, or rubber bands) to attach the open end of your mittens to a dowel (or stick or broom). This is to ensure that only a few inches of your mittens are in submerged in the dye. It also keeps you from having to hold your mittens in the dye bath for an hour.

The instructions on Rit dye are pretty fool-proof, so follow those if you’d like. It is as simple as mixing the dye in hot water (by heating some in a large pot on the stove top, or filling your sink with hot tap water). Next, set the mitten laden dowel across the pot (or sink). Re-position the mittens if necessary so that two to three inches of your mittens are in the colored water.

Walk away. Come back an hour or so later. The dye will have wicked up another inch or two of the mittens, giving them an ombre effect.

Remove the mittens from the dye. Keeping them on the dowel, let the mittens hang dry. Expect this to take a day. The first few times you wash your mittens, wash them alone so any excess dye that runs will not ruin other clothing. With less than a week until take off, I did not have time to hunt for cotton mittens. Mine are 100% acrylic, which Rit claims will not absorb the dye. My mittens seemed to take the dye just fine, but we’ll see after the trip (and the first wash) if I end up with purple hands and cream-colored mittens.

I would love to see some yellow mittens with green dip-dyed tips.

I can hardly wait to wrap my mitten warmed hands around a cup of hot chocolate from City Bakery and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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2 Responses to “DIY Dip-Dyed Ombre Mittens”

  1. Melissa Lawrence 16 November 2012 at 2:29 PM #

    You can set the dye in a cold water/vinegar soak then wash in cold with mild or no detergent.
    ~Mom~

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  1. Trendy Tuesday: Dip Dye Heaven » Zest it Up - 21 January 2014

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